The Copycat Content Crisis | Episode 29

There’s a copycat crisis brewing in content marketing right now. Just look at page one of SERPs and you’ll see post after post with strikingly similar structure and titles (the only difference being the number of things, for example). Open any one of them up and it’s as if they were all written by the same person.

In a way they likely were. As we discover more about how to conquer Google’s search algorithm and write articles prescribing the exact medicine for doing so, many companies are simply checking SEO boxes and leaving originality and creativity behind.

Compounding this issue are SEO agencies, who deliver content briefs that are basically a formula for ranking content, but when followed blindly they don't encourage originality, opinion, or anything that would result in a unique piece of content.

As a result, “ranking for a keyword” is becoming synonymous with “ripping off the existing search results.” SERPs are becoming crowded with copycat articles and companies are slipping into intellectual plagiarism. This is sloppy, boring and a bad experience for readers.

The truth is, you can rank for a term and follow a template and produce a unique piece of content all in one piece. It’s harder to do, but it’s also the best way to truly make your brand stand out from the rest.

Today I’m speaking with Animalz strategist, Ryan Law, about the copycat content crisis we find ourselves in and how companies can avoid falling victim to this unfortunate trend.

Getting content right matters more than ever. Editorial is the life blood of this new way of operating. It provides the backbone of what every non-commodity brand is based on. It gives the advantage of a network effect to businesses that would not otherwise have it.

- Sean Blanda

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You can follow Devin on Twitter at @devinemily and Ryan at @thinking_slow.